Born in 1929, Adam Henein grew up in a family of silversmiths from Asyut and lived in Bab al-Shaariyya in Cairo. In 1953, he earned a degree in sculpture from the School of Fine Arts in Cairo. After graduating, he was awarded a two-year grant to stay in Thebes at the Luxor Atelier, established in 1941 by the Alexandrian painter and diplomat Mohamed Naghi (1888-1956) to promote the study of ancient Egyptian art as part of the curriculum of art schools in Egypt. There, Henein studied pharaonic tombs and witnessed daily life in Upper Egypt. In 1972, Henein, a mid-career Egyptian sculptor, moved to Europe with his wife Afaf‘ to learn everything about art.’ After spending over 25 years in Paris, Henein returned to his country of birth.
Adam Henein has devoted his life to the art of sculpture, from which nothing has distracted him, except the practice of color drawing, in keeping with traditional Egyptian techniques. Today, he is considered the most influential living Arab sculptor of our time. A modernist artist of international note, Henein’s work is part of the founding collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, and his large-scale sculpture The Ship, conceived as a metaphorical alternative to the museum space, is permanently installed in the museum’s piazza.
In 1996, Adam Henein established the annual Aswan International Sculpture Symposium (AISS) in Aswan, a city that since Antiquity has been famous for its granite quarries. He was awarded the State Award for the Arts in 1998 and the Moubarak Prize in 2004. In 2014, he founded his eponymous museum in Harraniyya, housing over 4000 works.